Publishers are trying to reduce their dependence on giant social platforms. They are seeing a significant decrease in referral traffic - especially after Facebook announced its newsfeed algorithm change to deprioritize publisher content.
All social media platforms are susceptible to change. The idea is to remain as diverse as possible - so that you are not affected by overly depending on one.
Flipboard is a news aggregator - aiming to deliver interest based content for its users. It is working closely with 300 publishers including the big ones like The BBC and The Telegram and has more than 4000 publishers on board. Many publishers claim it to be fourth highest source of referral traffic after Google, Facebook and Twitter.
Flipboard claims to have a monthly user base of 100 million. Although its much less than Facebook - the conversion rate is very high. The News Web has 1 million followers on Facebook but its highest referral traffic source is Flipboard with just 1,81,00 followers. They are also flexible to the needs of the publisher. You can either post your content natively on their platforms (with ad revenue) or just use it for referral traffic by sending over your RSS feed.
People open their messages first thing in the morning and broadcasting your news through it is almost like the modern way of delivering the newspaper at your doorstep. Using messaging services also increases the shareability of your posts - as a lot of people share and discuss news using messaging platforms. The Bloomberg Quint (BQ) is broadcasting news through whatsapp and are finding it a good source of referral traffic. They are also reinventing the type of content for the platform - like sending out daily six minute podcasts named - “All you need to know” summarising its news for the day. The messaging platform that you use depends on the the country and the kind of audience you are trying to target. Like the Bloomberg which uses the messaging platform Line - which is popular in Japan.
Snapchat is trying to allure the publisher crowd, after Facebook gave up on them. They are going to promote snap shows as well as magazine like publisher content on their discover section. A lot of publishers are creating content exclusively for snapchat. They are also cutting short their existing videos, retrofitting it for the platform. NBC rolls out 2-minute show series on it and has got over 4 million subscribers so far.
Content is one of Snapchat’s top three priorities for 2018 and they are all set to cater to the needs of the publishers. Snapchat is also giving away a good part of the ad revenue share, unlike the Facebook- Google duopoly.
Instagram is a great place to venture into - especially if you are targeting a young audience. It has got its users hooked to its platform and has a daily user base of 500 million. Content on entertainment, travel, food and lifestyle sells best on this platform. Publishers like VOX are creating native content for Instagram. It is also a great place to promote branded content - because Instagram makes everything look prettier and more attractive. The american publication Attn is making a good revenue by pushing branded content through Instagram.
You must already have a decent following base on Twitter, but build it stronger. Twitter is increasingly becoming a publisher’s place free from the ephemera of baby photos, memes and trolls. Its where people come to read and discuss. And you are going to get more referral traffic - with Twitter launching moments, and its discover page suggesting the top news happenings.
Twitter live video has proved to be effective for publications like Bloomberg. It is much more publisher friendly - like it allows pre-rolling of ads on its videos which is more effective revenue model unlike Facebook’s mid-roll ad model.